[n] an unintended consequence occurring some time after an event or action, especially an unwelcome one

I knew I was still in the city. The far wall of the living room in the spacious apartment I was in was just a giant window overlooking the city. I stood there for hours, looking over the skyline at the twinkling lights of skyscrapers near and far.

Somewhere out there Seth was alive and I had no idea what he was going through. I didn’t know if he remembered what I had done and I was terrified of what might happen if he found me. I was even more scared, though, of what I had given to Pete in exchange for undoing what I had done—the fear of the unknown.

So I stood there, looking out over the city, exhausted but unwilling to sleep. I didn’t know what was waiting for me in my dreams, and I didn’t want to find out.

“You should get some sleep.”

I turned my head away from the sunrise to find Pete standing several feet from me.

I forced out a laugh, returning my gaze to beyond the window.

“What do you care?” I asked.

“I’m a demon, not an idiot,” he said. “I need you to not be sleep deprived for this new deal.”

“Are you going to give me any details of this new deal?”

“After you’ve slept,” Pete answered. I turned away from the window, staring at him for a moment.

“Can I shower first?”

“By all means,” he said, gesturing to an open door that must be the bathroom.

I moved towards the bathroom, glancing at Pete as he watched me. Once inside, I shut the door and locked it. I went to the shower and turned the water on as hot as I could get it. It was cliché to think that a steaming hot shower would be able to clean the non-existent filth off my skin. I had a feeling it would be a long time before I felt clean again, even if Seth was no longer dead—there was no getting rid of the feeling of having killed someone.

I shivered at the memory, and once in the shower, despite the hot temperature of the water, I felt cold. I stood under the water, willing my body to warm up, to not feel numb—but there was nothing. I stood there until the water went cold before getting out.

As I dried off, I realized the dress I had been wearing was gone and a folded nightgown and clean undergarments lay in its place. I glanced at the bathroom door—still locked. I rolled my eyes. Figures. Not even locks could stop a demon.

I put on the clean clothes and left the bathroom. Pete was sitting on the couch in the living room flipping through channels on the television. You could almost believe he was human.

“Where am I sleeping?” I asked. “Though I’m not even sure I’ll be able to sleep.”

Pete stood up, turning the TV off as he did so.

“Follow me,” he said. I sighed and followed him down a hallway in the apartment. He opened a door on the right, and stood back so I could enter.

The bedroom was plain, decorated in white and black. The far wall of the bedroom was the same as in the living room, just a giant window. Pete picked up a remote from the nightstand and pushed a button and suddenly a blackout screen was descending over the window, quickly darkening the room. Pete turned on the bedside lamp and pulled the covers back on the bed.

“Get in,” he said, gesturing to the bed.

“You don’t need to tuck me in,” I said, glaring at him. He just stared at me and after a minute I sighed and moved towards the bed. I slid under the covers and lay on my back, looking up at Pete as I pulled the blankets over me.

“Sleep tight,” he said, pressing two fingers to my forehead.


I woke with a start, scrambling to sit up and push the heavy blankets off of me. It was too hot, sweat covering my body, my breathing heavy as I fumbled with the lamp on the nightstand. It took me a moment to remember where I was upon waking, but everything was coming back quickly. Seth, the blood, Pete. My breath stuttered as I began to cry, shaking as I finally turned the lamp on.

I shut my eyes, trying to focus only on my breathing. When I was as calm as I was going to get, I hopped out of bed and stumbled out of the bedroom moving down the hallway and out into the living room. The kitchen was to my right and I went through the entry, my feet thankful for the change from carpet to cool tile.

I quickly found a glass and filled it with water from the sink, taking several gulps once the glass was filled. I added more water to the glass and turned around to head back to the bedroom, instead jumping in shock to find Pete standing not two feet away from me. The glass slipped through my fingers and shattered on the floor, water splattering my feet and legs.

“Shit,” I muttered, squatting in order to pick up some of the larger pieces of glass. “You really need to alert people of your presence rather than sneaking around like that.”

I watched Pete for a second before looking back down at the floor, only to find it spotless, the glass pieces and water having suddenly vanished. I sighed and stood back up.

“I’m going back to bed,” I said, moving forward and trying to step around Pete. He put a hand on my shoulder, stopping me.

“You’ve slept long enough,” he said.

“Are you serious?” I glanced at a clock on the wall. “It’s only 9 a.m. I’ve only gotten a few hours of sleep.”

“You’ve had more than a few hours of sleep,” he said, also glancing at the clock. “I put you to sleep yesterday morning.”

I stared at him for a moment.

“Are you serious?” I asked. He nodded.

“Now, I do believe that you wanted to know the details of the recent deal you made with me,” he said.

“Well… yeah,” I said. Pete turned suddenly and went back out into the living room and I followed.

“Please sit,” he nodded at the couch. I did as told, figuring this was probably something I would want to be sitting for. I was not ready to find out what I had unknowingly signed up for. Pete stood in front of me staring at me for a moment before smirking. “Sophie Notte—the other night you asked me to bring Seth Linwood back to life after your killed him. I would just like me to repeat that you asked me to do this in exchange for “anything”. Does that sound right?”

I nodded, feeling my heart starting to pound in my chest, my breathing becoming shallow.

“I do not like bringing people back from the dead,” Pete said. “It’s not something I often do, so this has cost you a lot. In exchange for bringing Seth back, I will now be claiming your soul in one year. In addition, until then you will be working exclusively for me, helping me to collect souls.”

I stared at him in shock. Pete just smirked. I had one year. And I had to help collect souls?

“What the fuck do you mean by helping you to collect souls?” I asked.

“Well, people have made deals in the past, and their 10 years are up, so their souls must be collected,” he said. “We usually just send hell hounds after them, but I thought it would be more fun if you got to do it.”

“How do you even collect souls?”

“It’s a simple matter of killing the person,” Pete answered, smirking. He blinked and his demonic red eyes appeared. “Something you’re now familiar with.”

“You’re a bastard,” I hissed, suddenly feeling nauseous.

“What'd you expect? I’m a demon.”
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So... I realized I haven't update this in two months. Sorry about that! I hope you enjoy the update! I'll try not to take so long for the next one.